Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin on Friday 22nd March, 2019 vowed that the armed forces of Nigeria will not rest until criminal elements, be they terrorists, killer bandits, armed robbers/kidnappers among others are eliminated and flushed out of the country.
The CDS spoke when he received a high powered delegation comprising of the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the United Kingdom, General (Sir) Nicholas Carter and the Chief of Defence Staff of the French Armed Forces, General D’Armee Francois Lecointre at the Defence headquarters, Abuja.
The joint visit of the UK and French top Military Generals and their delegation which is a landmark event, provided an opportunity to interact on all spheres of security and military collaboration particularly as relates to tackling challenges in both French and English speaking West Africa.
According to General Olonisakin, the United Kingdom and France have over the years remained strong pillars of support to Nigeria and the Armed Forces of Nigeria, through training, equipment support, intelligence sharing and many more.
“These (supports) have in no small measures helped us in our effort to tackle the various security challenges confronting our nation especially in our counter terrorism/counter-insurgency efforts in the Northeastern parts of the country”.
The CDS noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is committed to restoring peace to troubled parts of the country hence the Defence Headquarters is currently conducting various operations across the country saying, “These operations have continued to yield positive results and we will not rest on our oars until we rid our country of all criminal elements”.
Highlight of the visit, was a brief on the current security situation in the North East and the quantum of cooperation/support of both the UK and France to Nigeria in this regard.
In their remark, the UK Chief of Defence Staff, General Carter who spoke for both CDS said the visit was indeed an historic moment disclosing that they are very impressed with the Armed Forces of Nigeria, their role in restoring and sustaining peace in the West Africa region, and Africa at large.
He added that they both hope to see where they can further help and maximize their support for Nigeria and West Africa.
General Carter words, “This joint visit is a historical moment to Nigeria. It is also symbolic because we (the UK and France) both feel strongly that we need to fight for West Africa and we have a huge appreciation of how Nigeria fits well into the security situation of the region.
“We are also impressed with the strong commitments you have shown in providing security to the country and in areas where you are challenged by the Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province.
“The Islamic State is a much larger threat of violent extremism.
“We are hugely in admiration of your efforts in getting off terrorism.
“Collectively, we look for opportunities to see where else we can help and where we can maximise our support to West Africa and Nigeria particularly.”
Among senior military officers present during the visit were the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Sani Usman, Principal Staff Officers at Defence headquarters, Chief of Training and Operations, Army headquarters, Major General Adeosun.